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Maravot News of the World
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Tue, Nov 29, 2005
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December 22, 2005 will be observed once again as "Global Minute for Peace Day." The event was first observed at the time of President John F. Kennedy's death. Click on image to read about this remarkable event founded by John McConnell – or how to participate.

Faces of the Fallen – Iraq

US & Coalition
Casualties, War in Iraq

Trends, Iraq Casualties

US Fatalities City Map
Coalition Fatalities by location across time.

Metric Conversion

kilometer: 0.6214 mile
meter: 39.37 inches
centimetre: 0.3937 inch
millimetre: 0.03937 inch
foot: 30.48 cm
Br. stone: 14 pounds
kilogram: 2.2046 pounds
litre: 1.0567 US quarts
hectare: 2.471 acres
– 1 djerib (Turkey)
– 1 jerib (Iran)
– 1 gong qing (China)
0° Celcius: = 32° F

Click on image for org. to impeach Bush & Cheney. Click here for talking points paper pdf. file download.

Federal Debt vs GDP– Click image for larger view. (OMB)

Chart showing National Debt & Annual Deficits with Presidents. Democrat administrations are blue, Republican in Red. Green reflects projected Bush debt. Click chart for larger image.

Interest exceeds Group A outlays. Click chart for larger image.

Gross Domestic Products. Click here for image.

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Osama bin Laden fatwas.
This monster's own words will
lead to his destruction
Definition of fatwa (fatwah)
Maravot News Comment


August 1996

Maps of interest
Click on maps for larger image
Russia, Belarus and neighbors
Iraq and neighbors
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Historical map of Israel. Figure 2 shows the area allocated to
Israel by the UN in 1948. Compare to Israel' s interactive map below of its controversial security wall

Israel's Security Fence. Click on image for larger view or here for interactive link.

(AP photo) Click photo for story

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Mel West

Maravot's Protest against
Bush consortium:

Relevant Works by Mel

The Romance of Anais, an Arthurian-style tale written 1996 describing how Bush got us in the mess in Iraq with a short commentary on the
Chang-an cheat
Tapestry of One – on the creed of Buddha,
Duty & Profit, Nov. 1994
Against Leviathan, Jan. 1993
Immoral Coercion, Dec. 1994
Philistia Triumph thou
because of me
, Dec. 1993

I am not responsible for the
content of any links
from this site.

Question: Has Bush caused the US to be outflanked?

The main Trend we have seen at Maravot News is that Bush's hostile policies worldwide have created new alliances among the EU, China, India, Russia and the Middle East. Also, the Monroe Doctrine is being challenged in South America.

News Headlines & Trends

11.28.05 China: Bird flu virus in humans mutating

(AFP / Xinhua) November 29 – The H5N1 strain of bird flu seen in human cases in China has mutated as compared with strains found in human cases in Vietnam. Chinese labs have found that the genetic order of the H5N1 virus seen in humans infected in China is different from that found in humans in Vietnam, Xinhua news agency reported Monday. In China's human cases, the virus has mutated "to a certain degree," health ministry spokesman Mao Qun'an was quoted as saying. "But the mutation cannot cause human-to-human transmission of the avian flu," he noted.

Mao said since the H5N1 bird flu first broke out in 1997, most human cases have been reported in Hong Kong, Thailand, Vietnam, Cambodia, Indonesia and the Chinese mainland. No human case has been found in Europe so far. The major channels of human infection involve direct contact with infected poultry or their secretion and excretion, as well as inhalation of the particles of the virus from the poultry's secretion and excretion, said Mao, noting that the general public won't get infected if they keep themselves away from sick and dead poultry.

11.28.05 Saddam trial adjourned after brief witness testimony

BAGHDAD (Reuters) November 28 – Saddam Hussein argued with the judge and complained about Iraq's "occupiers" when his trial for crimes against humanity reconvened in Baghdad on Monday with the prosecution presenting the first witness testimony.

But after less than three hours of hearings, including videotaped testimony from a witness who has since died, the judge ordered a week-long adjournment to allow one of the eight defendants to secure legal representation. Former Vice President Taha Yassin Ramadan was left without counsel after two defence lawyers were killed and a third fled Iraq after threats following the first trial session in October. Ramadan rejected a lawyer appointed by the court, so the judge, Rizgar Mohammed Amin, ordered the adjournment. The next session will be on Dec. 5, just 10 days before Iraq holds parliamentary elections, a time when guerrilla violence is expected to surge.

Saddam, dressed in a white shirt, dark jacket and carrying a Koran, arrived late for Monday's session, only the second of the trial, which opened on Oct. 19 only to be adjourned for 40 days. "They brought me here to the door and I was handcuffed. They cannot bring in the defendant in handcuffs," Saddam said when Amin asked him to explain his lateness.
[More>> ; See also for a different slant on the story ; 11.29.05 updates refer to Saddam taking charge of the courtroom. See article, "Trial of the century becomes a trial of patience, with Saddam in charge" and, "Saddam harangues judge, trial adjourned again."]

11.28.05 British aid worker among four abducted in Iraq

BAGHDAD, November 28 – A retired British professor in his seventies is among four aid workers who have been kidnapped in Iraq. Norman Kember, a peace activist from Pinner, in north-west London, who was on his first visit to Iraq, was abducted by gunmen along with two Canadians and an American on Saturday. The Iraqi authorities said they were searching for the group and were worried about their safety. Brigadier Hussein Kamal, the deputy Interior Minister for intelligence, confirmed the kidnapping and said an investigation was under way. It is believed that US and British forces in the country have also been put on alert. A representative of the aid workers' agency in Baghdad, who did not want his identity disclosed, said there had been no demands as yet from the abductors and no news of the condition of the hostages. [More>>]

11.28.05 88 killed in Hellongjiang coal mine blast, 36 still trapped

November 28 – (Coal mine blasts and flooding have been a continuing problem for China.) An explosion ripped through a state-owned colliery in northeast China, killing 88 miners and trapping 36 underground. The blast late on Sunday was the latest disaster to strike Heilongjiang, whose capital city, Harbin, was held hostage for five days by a toxic spill coursing through the Songhua river that provides its water supply, forcing a shut-down of tap water. Li Yizhong, head of the country's top work safety watchdog, urged about 270 rescue workers to spare no effort to save miners trapped at Dongfeng coal mine. Eighty-eight of 221 men working underground at the time have been killed, while 97 have been rescued, state radio reported. Investigators blamed the blast on coal-dust explosion, which knocked out all ventilation systems in the pit. The main system resumed operation on Monday. [More>>] an update 11.29.05,, "Coal mine blast leaves 238 dead, 11 missing."]

11.28.05 China HIV count rises 50 percent in past year

November 28 – The number of confirmed HIV cases in China rose by more than half in the past year but poor monitoring and official obstruction still obscure the real scale of the AIDS epidemic, China's top AIDS official said on Monday. The number of Chinese medically diagnosed with the HIV virus, which leads to AIDS, had grown to 135,630 by end-September, Wang Longde, director of the State Council AIDS Prevention and Treatment Work Committee, told Chinese health officials. At the end of September last year, China had recorded 89,067 HIV cases. Health experts say that China's vast size and dilapidated health system mean that only about 15 percent of HIV-positive people are officially diagnosed with the virus, and even fewer receive medical treatment for full-blown AIDS. [More>>]

11.27.05 Interview: Pro-Saddam insurgents embrace holy war official

BAGHDAD (Reuters) November 27 – Michael Georgy filed this interesting report for Reuters: Saddam Hussein loyalists leading the insurgency in Iraq have reinvented themselves as Islamic militants in a deadly new strategy generating plenty of recruits and funding, Iraq's national security adviser said on Sunday.

Mowaffaq al-Rubaie said the image makeover from secular insurgents to religious warriors was far more worrying than a deadly campaign waged by Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, the al Qaeda in Iraq leader, and his suicide bombers. Embracing militant Islam has enabled Saddam's former agents with long years of intelligence and military experience to expand their support base, he said. "This is very dangerous. These people now have broader appeal among angry Iraqis and money from Arabs in regional states," he told Reuters in an interview. "It could take years to defeat them."

Saddam and his pan-Arab socialist Baath party imposed secularism in Iraq throughout decades of iron-fisted rule. Muslim militants either kept their beliefs to themselves or were jailed, or worse. But Islamic fundamentalism has gained a foothold since a U.S.-led invasion toppled the former president in 2003, with a proliferation of Sunni Arab militants opposed to the Shi'ite- led government backed by Washington...Al Qaeda stepped in, forming loose alliances with Saddam's former Baathists as the insurgency evolved into daily suicide bombings and assassinations that have killed tens of thousands of civilians and security forces. Rubaie said Saddam loyalists now portray themselves as holy warriors...
[Full story>>]

Editorial note: The Baathist party / movement began in Syria, advocating the unification of all Islamic states, structured after the old Arab Caliphate system.

11.27.05 Shiitte urges US to give Iraqis leeway in rebel fight

BAGDHAD, November 27 – The leader of Iraq's most powerful political party has called on the United States to let Iraqi fighters take a more aggressive role against insurgents, saying his country will only be able to defeat the insurgency when the United States lets Iraqis get tough. "The more freedom given to Iraqis, the more chance for further progress there would be, particularly in fighting terror," said Abdul Aziz Hakim, head of the Supreme Council for the Islamic Revolution in Iraq, the Shiite Muslim religious party that leads the transitional government and whose armed wing is the most feared of Iraq's many factional forces.

Instead, Hakim asserted in a rare interview late last week, the United States is tying Iraq's hands in the fight against insurgents. One of Iraq's "biggest problems is the mistaken or wrong policies practiced by the Americans," he said...The Americans are guilty of "major interference, and preventing the forces of the Interior or Defense ministries from carrying out tasks they are capable of doing, and also in the way they are dealing with the terrorists," Hakim charged...In Iraq, "there are plans to confront terrorists, approved by security agencies, but the Americans reject that," Hakim said. "Because of that mistaken policy, we have lost a lot. One of the victims was my brother Mohammad Bakir, because of American policies."

"There were plans that should have been implemented months ago, but American officials and forces rejected them," he said. "This has led to the expansion of terrorism. We have a capacity to move more quickly than currently," he said.
[Full story>> ; See also another view of the situation, carried in several international news media, including, "Iraq abuse 'as bad as Saddam era'" : The former Iraqi prime minister, Iyad Allawi, has called for immediate action against human rights abuses. Such abuses are as bad today as they were under Saddam Hussein, Mr Allawi told Britain's Observer newspaper. His comments come two weeks after 170 detainees were found at an interior ministry centre, some allegedly suffering from abuse and starvation. Iraq's president dismissed Mr Allawi's allegations, saying his government did not accept the torture of prisoners...

Observer story:, "Abuse worse than under Saddam, says Iraqi leader."]

11.27.05 Israel nabs top Hamas fundraiser

November 27 – The Shin Bet and the Israel Police's International Serious Crimes Unit have arrested a Hamas activist from Jenin suspected of distributing millions of dollars in donations from abroad to support terror activity against Israel, police released for publication Sunday. Ahmad Saltana, also known as Abu Asama, was arrested on September 25 during an IDF operation in Jenin. Saltana, 43, ran an organization that claimed to distribute funds channeled through Moslem charity groups worldwide for "sick and poor families" and humanitarian causes. The fund that Saltana headed had an annual budget of $1 million dollars that was earmarked for families of "shahids" (Moslem terrorists and suicide bombers who died as a result of their terror activity), Palestinian prisoners, and Hamas activists. [More>>Jerusalem Post]

11.27.05 Iraqi police smash plot to kill Saddam judge

BAGHDAD, November 27 – Iraqi police said they have smashed an Al-Qaeda cell plotting to kill the chief judge in charge of building the case against ousted leader Saddam Hussein, whose trial resumes on Monday after a five-week recess. 12 members of a cell linked to the Iraqi branch of Al-Qaeda were arrested during a dawn raid on a house in eastern Kirkuk, in northern Iraq, a police official said. They confessed during questioning to planning to kill (chief judge) Raed al-Juhi this week.

Juhi is the chief investigative judge on the Iraqi High Tribunal, which is tasked, with judging former regime officials, including Saddam, for crimes against humanity, war crimes and genocide. The suspects also confessed to helping to carry out suicide attacks in the Kurdish city of Sulaimaniyah in October in which 10 people were killed, he said.
[ ; See also]

11.27.05 Russia takes measures against China's toxic spill

MOSCOW (RIA Novosti) November 27 – Fifty metric tons of absorbent carbon will be delivered to towns situated downstream from the city of Khabarovsk in the Russian Far East to clean the Amur River from a toxic spill heading from China, a spokesman for the Russian environmental watchdog said Sunday. "We expect two planes to deliver 20 tons of absorbent carbon from Perm [a city in the Volga Federal District] Monday," said Oleg Mitvol, deputy head of the Russian Federal Service for Nature Management Supervision. He added that the other 30 tons of absorbent carbon would be delivered Wednesday. [More>>]

11.27.05 India plans to propose energy pact with China

November 27 – India plans to propose an over-arching agreement on cooperation in the oil and gas industry with China when Indian Petroleum Minister Mani Shankar Aiyar visits Beijing in mid-January 2006, Indo-Asian News Service reported Saturday. In its proposal, India will suggest to set up an institutional mechanism to carry forward the cooperation in research and development of the energy sector between the two countries, Aiyar said in New Delhi Saturday. He also indicated that Indian exploration major ONGC Videsh Ltd. could join hands with China National Petroleum Corporation (CNPC) to bid for exploration blocks in Syria. {More>>]

11.27.05 UP official on divine path, claims to be 'God'

Lucknow, India (PTI) November 27 – Moving to a loftier plane than Inspector General of Police D.K. Panda who anointed himself Krishna¹s ŒDoosri Radha¹, a senior official claims divine status and a direct telephone line to Lord Shiva. Uttar Pradesh Road Transport Corporation general manager (Technical) Gyanendra Pratap Singh has declared himself 'God' and claimed that a year ago, 'ŒBhagwan Shankar' blessed him with his 'darshans' and bestowed upon him divine powers. Singh also claimed to have established 'direct contact' with Lord Shiva with whom he 'converses on the phone every day.' As a result, his phone bill reads more than Rs 25,000, well beyond the entitled limit of Rs 2,500. [More>>]

11.27.05 Nepal to probe mystery 'Buddha' boy

KATHMANU (Reuters) November 27 – Authorities in Nepal urged religious groups and scientists on Sunday to help solve the mystery of a meditating teenaged boy who some believe is an incarnation of Buddha. At least 100,000 devotees from Nepal and neighboring India have flocked in recent weeks to a dense forest in southeastern Nepal to see 15-year-old Ram Bahadur Bamjon, who, his associates say, has been meditating without food or water for six months. Shanta Raj Subedi, district administrator of Bara, 150 km (95 miles) southeast of Kathmandu and where the boy is meditating, said he had requested the Lumbini Development Trust, a Buddhist panel, and the Royal Nepal Academy of Science and Technology to get to the bottom of the mystery. [More>> ; See earlier report recorded by Maravot News 11.24.05, "Pilgrims flock to see 'Buddha boy' said to have fasted six months.']

11.26.05 Dead Saddam aide leaves a chilling video

November 27 – The former Iraqi dictator, Saddam Hussein, will be condemned from beyond the grave when he goes back on trial tomorrow over his role in the massacre 23 years ago of 143 people. Wadah al-Sheikh, a former intelligence officer and key witness in the case against Saddam and Barzan al-Tikriti, his half-brother, succumbed to cancer on October 27. Four days before he died, however, he gave videotaped testimony which, according to the prosecution, provides chilling insights into a purge after an abortive attempt to assassinate Saddam during a visit to the town of Dujail.

³The witness had a main role with Barzan al-Tikriti in transporting the victims from Dujail to Abu Ghraib and al-Hakimiyah prisons,² said Jaafar al-Musawi, chief prosecutor in the case. ³He was also directly involved in carrying out some of the sentences against them.² Some prosecution witnesses have faced death threats from supporters of Saddam and a menacing leaflet has been distributed in Dujail.

³Anyone who testifies in the court against the leader Saddam Hussein and his colleagues will receive something from us that will not please him and that goes to that person¹s brothers, sons, daughters, cousins and entire tribe,² it read. Musawi said he was aware of the threats but remained confident that the main witnesses would appear.

11.26.05 Bush plot to bomb al-Jazeera is a conspiracy theory, says Blair

November 27 – Tony Blair yesterday branded as a "conspiracy theory" claims that a leaked memo has revealed plans by President George W. Bush last year to bomb the Arabic television station al-Jazeera. The Prime Minister broke his silence on the issue as fresh concerns surfaced over the use of the Official Secrets Act to suppress the memo. People who have seen the document say the real reason that it is being suppressed by the Government is because it contains a potentially damaging private discussion between the two leaders about the controversial United States attack on the Iraqi city of Fallujah last year.

Mr. Blair sought to play down the memo yesterday, despite the fact that two men, accused over its leaking, are to appear in court this week facing charges under the Official Secrets Act. He also shrugged off a request from the managing director of al-Jazeera, Wadah Khanfar, for a meeting. Mr. Blair was speaking at the Commonwealth summit in Malta, where he has been locked in trade talks with African leaders.
[More>> ; See related story,, "Rumsfeld's Al-Jazeera outburst." : ...Rumsfeld denounced the satellite television station at a Pentagon briefing on April 15, 2004 after Al-Jazeera had reported that America¹s assault on the insurgent stronghold of Falluja was terrorising civilians. ³They are simply lying,² Rumsfeld said.

It was on April 16 that Bush reportedly said during talks with Blair that he wanted to bomb Al-Jazeera¹s offices in Doha, Qatar, although it is not known whether he was joking...The Coalition Provisional Authority in Baghdad detailed 34 instances of alleged hype and distortion by the television station from April 8-13, ranging from reports of a helicopter and fighter plane being shot down to stories about American soldiers killing and mutilating Iraqi citizens...]

11.26.05 Soviet plans to annihilate Europe revealed

WARSAW, November 26 – A Cold War map detailing the Warsaw Pact's training plans for a nuclear war has been released by the new Polish government, which pledged to confront the nation's Communist past. Dating from 1979, the map reveals how Soviet forces could respond to a Nato assault by invading Germany, Belgium and the Netherlands.

Red and blue mushroom clouds are marked on the map, showing Soviet nuclear bombs raining down on cities including Brussels, Antwerp, Munich and Stuttgart, and Nato nuclear strikes on Warsaw and a line of Polish territory, cutting the country in two. The Nato objective was to halt a second wave of Soviet troops sweeping westwards from Russia. Polish military chiefs said yesterday that about two million people would have died in Poland alone. Meanwhile, Britain and France appeared to have escaped unscathed, so separate plans may have existed for them.

The right-wing Polish government sent a powerful political message by releasing the map from the military archives, reinforcing its tough, nationalistic and anti-Russian rhetoric...interestingly, the Warsaw Pact training map illustrates a defensive military operation in response to a Nato nuclear strike, and the Soviet forces appeared to stop at the English Channel. French territory is also avoided, a fact which Waldemar Wojcik, head of Poland's central military archive, explained by the fact that France was outside Nato's integrated military command structure....Mr. Wojcik added that, on a visit to Washington, Polish military officials had seen plans from Nato that were "a mirror image" of the Warsaw Pact's own deadly war plan.
[Full story>>]

Editorial note:
Maps and more maps – Stashed away in what was once North American Aviation's vault in Downy, California are reports from the early 60's that contain "target" maps of Soviet cities. Several cities might be covered by one missile (MIRV). Each band of the target map (designed like a dartboard) contained kill ratios, those being at the center of the target being at 100% level. I had always assumed that the Soviets had similar maps.

During the 80's, traveling in Turkey I inquired with a French citizen and others as to the direction they thought the French missiles were pointed.

Countries who are members of the "Nuclear Club" might be a little disingenuous speaking about the spread of nuclear weapons when, in fact, no one knows exactly who is targeted by whose nuclear weapons and the expected, calculated kill ratios. There is much being said about the spread of nuclear missiles, focusing on North Korea and Iran, but most people naively are unaware of the destructive capacity of a nuclear missile or the area on the world map where missiles are targeted, the kill ratio expected for a particular target area, etc. As in the Cold War era, people continue to bury their head in the sand, not inquiring into what pernicious plans the governments around them have upon their world. While it is important to stop the spread of nuclear weapons, it is also important to get a consensus among governments to ban them altogether (Reagan did take a large step towards that end, but then reintroduced a new form of carnage, "Star Wars.") After all is said and done, the weapons are like the contents of Pandora's Box. It is clear that the box has been opened, making us all less secure.

George W. Bush announced after 9/11 America's right to first strike capability, no longer being governed by International Agreements the US has signed, and this heralded a new and greater era in US insecurity. He followed up that doctine by invading Iraq without UN support. The rogue Bush doctrine – antithetical to the efforts of the 1975 Helsinki agreements, etc – was reported by many media, including, September 20, 2002, "Bush outlines first-strike doctrine." :

( September 20, 2002) The Bush administration released a report Friday outlining an aggressive national security policy that says the United States must adapt its forces and planning toward favoring preemptive action against terrorist groups and hostile states that possess or are developing weapons of mass destruction.

The 33-page report, mandated by Congress, reflects many of the policy arguments that have emerged since last year's terrorist attacks and are front-and-center as the Bush White House argues in favor of an aggressive policy of confrontation with Iraq. The debate over how and when the United States should use military force has been evolving since the Cold War ended more than a decade ago.

It has gained prominence and urgency as Bush pursues a war on terrorism on two fronts: pursuit of a group accused of attacking the United States – al Qaeda – and contemplation of a military strike against Iraq. The sovereign state has not been tied to any terrorist attack, but the administration has declared it is pursuing weapons of mass destruction. The document, titled "The National Security Strategy for the United States of America" says the United States would prefer to act within international bodies and with international allies. But it also is blunt, saying, "We will not hesitate to act alone, if necessary, to exercise our right of self-defense by acting preemptively."

Thus we are now bogged down in a quagmire in Iraq and facing the hatred of the Muslim world which – we should all be able to agree – a civilized world would not have allowed. We now live in a world that must fear suicide bombers who have no qualms about blowing up civilians in all walks of life – bombers who target the routines of life, such as weddings, or giving little children toys. People funding such activities and their minions of mass destruction – that hold no people or ground sacred around the world, supporting al-qaeda – have the capability to aquire greater weapons of mass destruction. Rusting weapons dumps (nuclear, chemical, biological and conventional) from the Soviet Empire lie scattered and untended, exposed to propspecting terrorists. We have seen in many reports the discovery of conventional weapons caches around Iraq and now on the Iran border that have been sources of the terrorist bombers. And, of course, we have seen from the ruins of their posts the maps and targets of the innocent masses whom they would kill.

Long ago I wrote about the US, compared to European nations, being like a small child given a rifle. After all, the European nations have a couple of thousand years of wars and diplomacy under their belt, whereas the US is barely 230 years old.

The weapon created by the child was aquired by others equally immature, and now nuclear weapons as well as other weapons of mass destruction are at risk of being used by Islamists who are convinced that those who do not agree with their view of God should be destroyed. These madmen, while localized before 9/11, seem to have received greater import on their mission since another madman, George W. Bush, announced his Crusade. The immature Bush doctrine which was reflected in his Crusade was rejected by the old European nations, France and Germany, who advocated diplomacy before war.

We need to stop the Crusade the madmen launched – for the sake of the peace of Jerusalem.

Mel Copeland

11.26.05 Report: Iran offered North Korea oil for nuclear weapons help

BERLIN (Reuters) November 26 – Iran has offered North Korea oil and natural gas as payment for help in developing nuclear missiles, German weekly magazine Der Spiegel reported on Saturday, citing unidentified Western intelligence sources. A senior Iranian official traveled to the North Korean capital Pyongyang during the second week of October to make the offer, the magazine quoted the sources as saying. It was unclear what North Korea's response was, it added. Diplomats and intelligence sources say Iran is pushing ahead with plans to enrich uranium in defiance of international pressure to stop developing sensitive nuclear technology to calm fears it is seeking nuclear weapons. Iran insists its nuclear ambitions are entirely peaceful.

Iran's Shahab-3 missiles are based on North Korea's Nodong rockets and Pyongyang is Tehran's most important partner in developing missile technology, Der Spiegel said.

Ahmadinejad charges Bush with war crimes

Iran's hard-line president called for the Bush administration to be tried on war crimes charges related to Iraq and denounced the West for its stance on Iran's controversial nuclear program, state-run television reported Saturday. "You, who have used nuclear weapons against innocent people, who have used uranium ordnance in Iraq should be tried as war criminals in courts," Mahmoud Ahmadinejad said in an apparent reference to the United States.
[More>> ; For Ahmadinejad's remarks see, "Iran's Ahmadinejad vows to continue nuclear program."]

11.26.05 Upadate, 11.25.05 Japanese probe apparently succeeds in landing on asteroid

TOKYO (AP) November 25 – A Japanese spacecraft apparently succeeded in landing on an asteroid and collecting surface samples Saturday, part of an unprecedented mission to bring the material back to Earth, Japan's space agency said.

Top: view of the asteroid Itokawa upon which the Japanese space probe, Hayabusa, landed [] Bottom: view of Saturn's planet, Dione which the Cassini spacecraft is flying by. []
The Hayabusa probe touched down for only a few seconds on the faraway asteroid — long enough to collect powder from its surface — and lifted off again to transmit data to mission controllers, said Kiyotaka Yashiro, a spokesman for JAXA, Japan's space agency.

"The initial movements and operations look very good," Mr. Yashiro said. "The process of sampling also seems to have gone very well. More data confirming the mission's success is expected later in the day after scientists have examined additional transmissions from the probe," Mr. Yashiro said.
[More>> ; See also ; See update 11.26.05,, Japan space probe collects samples from asteroid "Itokawa.']

11.25.05 Cassini views Dione October 11

November 25 – The images Cassini is collecting are very dramatic. is a site well worth return visits. Here the Cassini-Huygens program reports: Cassini prepared for its rendezvous with Dione on Oct. 11, 2005, capturing the brilliant, cratered iceball in front of its shadow-draped planet. The terrain seen here becomes notably darker toward the west, and is crosscut by the

bright, fresh canyons that form wispy markings on Dione's trailing hemisphere. Dione is 1,126 kilometers (700 miles) across.

The image was taken in visible light with the Cassini wide-angle camera at a distance of approximately 24,500 kilometers (15,200 miles) from Dione and at a Sun-Dione-spacecraft, or phase, angle of 22 degrees. The image scale is about 2 kilometers (1 mile) per pixel.

11.25.05 Wild birds found with H5 virus

OTTAWA, Canada, November 26 – Canada has discovered the H5 avian influenza virus in 35 wild ducks and one case of the H7 virus in its eastern provinces, officials announced. The Canadian Wildlife Service made the discoveries during routine banding of some 710 migratory waterfowl around the Tantramar marshes near the borders of the provinces of Nova Scotia and New Brunswick. It said all the birds were young and healthy.

"These preliminary results do not indicate an increased threat to human health or commercial poultry flocks," officials said. "Migratory birds are known to carry influenza viruses and it is unlikely the viruses are the same as those currently found in Asia and Europe."
"The Atlantic provinces share a common waterfowl migratory route so results from one area likely represent results for the entire region," officials said.
[More>> ; See related article,, "Xinjiang reports 7th outbreak in 10 days.']

11.25.05 Interview: Al Jazeera wants to see Blair about US bomb report

LONDON (Reuters) November 25 – (Maravot News thinks this is a story that is not going to go away) Arabic news channel Al Jazeera's general manager flew to London on Friday to demand the British government explain a leaked report that U.S. President George W. Bush wanted to bomb the TV station. The Daily Mirror newspaper reported on Tuesday that a secret British government memo said Prime Minister Tony Blair had talked Bush out of bombing Al Jazeera's headquarters in Qatar in April last year.

"I have come to London in order to reach out to British officials, to investigate about the memo that some claim exists during the past week," Al Jazeera managing director Waddah Khanfar told Reuters by telephone after his arrival in London. "It is a matter of deep concern for all of us in al Jazeera, and the Arab world and the media."
[More>> ; for background see Maravot News 11.24.05]

11.25.05 Shrine visit 'pouring salt into open wound'

(Reuters / China Daily) November 24 – Likening Japanese Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi's visits to a Tokyo war shrine to "pouring salt into an open wound," China's ambassador to Japan on Thursday urged a halt to the pilgrimages in order to thaw frigid Sino-Japanese ties. Japan's relations with China and South Korea chilled markedly after Koizumi took office in 2001 and began annual visits to the Yasukuni shrine, where 14 Class-A war criminals including wartime prime minister Hideki Tojo are honoured along with war dead. Koizumi, who says he visits Yasukuni to pray for peace and honour the war dead, last paid his respects there in October. [More>>]

11.25.05 Iraqi police find car bomb cache on Iranian border

KUT, Iraq, November 25 – More than 300 mortar shells and other explosives destined to be used in car bombs were discovered on Friday by Iraqi police at an abandoned military base near the border with Iran. Saleh al-Shumari, police chief in Aziziya, 80 kilometers (50 miles) southeast of Baghdad, said the mortar shells were left over from the Iran-Iraq war (1980-1988), while the explosives were more recent. Both were being used by insurgents to build car bombs, he said, adding that the long disused base in the Al-Daynah region had been taken over by insurgents.

Iraqi officials, along with their British and American counterparts, have long accused Iran of supporting elements of the insurgency in Iraq. In a recent trip to Iran, however, Iraqi President Jalal Talabani announced that he had received assurances from Iran about helping end the insurgency.

11.25.05 Over 180 killed in past week in Iraq amid warnings of more unrest

BAGHDAD (AFP) November 25 – Iraqi officials have promised to deploy up to 10,000 extra men to boost security ahead of a December 15 general election after a rebel bombing campaign killed more than 180 people in the past week. Both US and Iraqi officials have warned of the likelihood of increasing violence ahead of the elections.

Sunni rebels, including Jordanian-born Musab Al Zarqawi, the leader of Al Qaeda in Iraq, have sought to spark sectarian war between Sunnis and Shias in a bid to increase the chaos and discredit the US-backed government. In the northern Iraqi town of Mosul, a member of the Kurdistan Democratic Party, Ibrahim Saleh Othman, was kidnapped on Thursday and his body found a few hours later, police said. He had been shot. Meanwhile, the government warned of a possible new twist in attacks after the Iraqi army announced it had seized a number of booby-trapped children¹s dolls.
[More>> ; See related story,, "Suicide car bombing targets hospital near Baghdad."]

11.25.05 Greenhouse gas at highest level in 650,000 years

November 25 – The amount of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere, the gas that drives global warming, is greater by more than a quarter on any previous high in the last 650,000 years, according to a European study. Analysis of air bubbles trapped in ice taken from east Antarctica has revealed the stark comparison and the findings will be added to evidence of human interference in the Earth's climate, which has been collected for next week's United Nations' conference on global warming in Montreal, Canada.

The latest sample, or ice core, extends previous records by 210,000 years. It was obtained by the European Project for Ice Coring in Antarctica, and the findings are published in the journal Science today. The scientists, working in severe weather conditions, used a four-inch wide drill bit, in 10ft sections, to bring up ice that was deposited by snows that fell up to 650,000 years ago.

11.25.05 Agency forecasts pollution around Khabarovsk to be acceptable

MOSCOW (RIA Novosti) November 25 – Russia's hydro meteorological agency forecasted Friday that pollution of the Amur River near the Far Eastern city of Khabarovsk would not exceed the maximum allowable concentration (mac) levels. "The nitrobenzene concentration in the Amur near Khabarovsk will be less than one mac," a press release said.

...About 100 tons of chemicals were released into the Songhua River, a tributary of the Amur, following an explosion at a petrochemical plant in China November 13. The huge spill, covering a total area of 80 square kilometers, is slowly moving down the Songhua and has already reached the Chinese city of Harbin.
[Full story>>]

11.25.05 Syria agrees to allow UN to quiz its officials in Hariri probe

DAMASCUS (AP) November 25 – Syria agreed Friday to allow UN investigators to question its officials over Rafik Hariri's assassination in Vienna, ending a deadlock with the United Nations that had brought mounting pressure on Damascus. Syrian Deputy Foreign Minister Walid Moallem told a news conference that the breakthrough in negotiations with the United Nations came after Syria received "reassurances" about respect for its sovereignty and "guarantees concerning the rights of the individuals" to be questioned. He did not elaborate. [More>>]

11.25.05 Nasrallah: 'It is our natural right to capture IDF soldiers'

BEIRUT, Lebanon (AP) November 25 – A mass demonstration and funeral was held Friday afternoon in southern Beirut for three Hizbullah terrorists killed in a Monday attempt to infiltrate Israel and kidnap IDF soldiers. Israel returned their bodies to Lebanon on Friday morning in a bid to defuse tensions following fierce border clashes this week. But Hizbullah's leader, Sheikh Hassan Nasrallah said his group will continue trying to kidnap Israeli soldiers.

Chanting "Death to Israel" and "Death to America," more than 10,000 Hizbullah supporters attended the ceremony in the Lebanese capital, after the bodies were brought from the Naqura/Rosh Hanikra Border Crossing between Israel and Lebanon. The massive protest demonstrated the considerable influence of Hizbullah, which is under international pressure to disarm, in Lebanese-Israeli affairs.
[More>>Jerusalem Post]


05.21.05 British lawmaker: Iraq war was for oil

LISBON, May 21 – Adam Porter reports: Labour politician and former UK environment minister Michael Meacher has slammed Prime Minister Tony Blair and US President George Bush for starting a war, he says, to secure oil interests.

Speaking on Friday on the sidelines of the fourth International Workshop on Oil and Gas Depletion in Lisbon, Portugal, Meacher, a member of the British parliament, said: "The reason they attacked Iraq is nothing to do with weapons of mass destruction, it was nothing to do with democracy in Iraq, it was nothing to do with the human rights abuses of Saddam Hussein."
..."It was principally, totally and comprehensively to do with oil," Meacher continued. "This was about assuming control over the Middle East and over Iraq, the second largest producer and also over Saudi Arabia next door.

"It was about securing as much as possible of the remaining supplies of oil and also over the Caspian basin, which of course is Afghanistan."
[More>>; See also, article March 17, 2005, "Secret US plans for Iraq's oil."

Editorial note: For articles relating to Bush's lying to Congress and the American people with regard to his war on Iraq and other complaints that relate to his abuse of power see:

11.17.05 The man who sold the war
11.12.05 Asterisks dot White House's Iraq argument
10.16.05 Bush to Blair: First Iraq, then Saudi
10.07.05 BBC: Bush said God told him to invade Iraq
08.25.05 Bush administration hiding affects of the war: photos Washington doesn't want you to see
6.18.05 Update The Downing Street memo: the smoking gun to impeach President Bush
6.17.05 Just hearsay, or the new Watergate tapes?
6.17.05 Democrats urge inquiry on Bush, Iraq
6.17.05 Update Senator Feinstein against US becoming a 'unilateralist power'
6.19.05 Rice condemns Iran vote – 'the pot calling the kettle black'
6.21.05 British bombing raids were illegal, says Foreign Office
6.28.05 Special Orders in House of Representatives on Downing Street Memos
6.28.05 From memos, insights into ally's doubts on Iraq War
7.11.05 Report: US war has killed 39,000 Iraqis

08.09.05 Understanding terrorists' use of the Koran – what constitutes extremist activity

August 9 – (Maravot News, Mel Copeland) A trend in combatting terrorism has to do with what constitute's extremist activity, including teachings by immams, publication of books and retail book stores, etc. Statements like (8.09.05) Bakri Mohammed's, " would be 'against Islam' for him to inform the police of any terrorist attacks that he knew were being planned in Britain..." are better understood through an examination of modern scholastic trends in reinterpreting the Koran. See:

08.07.05 Inside the sect that loves terror with Editorial note: An interesting site by an Islamic scholar defines what "kuffar" (disbelievers) means. His site, – Arguments and Rational – details the Koran's verses and traditional and modern applications of the verses dealing with disbelievers: identifying them, punishing them, preaching to them and "'displaced directives." His argument refers heavily to Old Testament verses that set the foundation for verses of the Koran involving the punishment of disbelievers...
08.07.05 UK to deport 500 Muslim extremists
and article, "Diary of British jihadi unearthed in Pakistan," ...the diary wonders how Muslims can live in London, the "vital organ of the minions of the devil," now that the "kufr," or unbelievers, have transformed the world into "a battlefield for the Muslims."

6.17-05 Federal Debt not a concern of the press

SAN FRANCISCO, June 17 Update. While the Federal Reserve continues to increase interest rates, the Exponentially rising Federal Debt is not being reported. What is not being reported is the fact that interest rates are tied to the US National Debt. This year the deficit is expected to exceed $420 billion, and interest on the debt which exceeds $8.2 trillion, is about $1 billion per day. Because the annual deficits are financed via the bond market, and because the amount of the bonds being sold exceeds demand, it is necessary to raise interest rates to attract investors in the US bonds financing the US debt. This routine of increasing debt on an exponential scale was experienced under the administration of George H. W. Bush. I predicted increasing interest rates "to sell bonds" in my conversation with Wm. F. Buckley Jr. at that time, in 1993, and I have repeated the prediction with regard to the current Bush administration's excesses and need to sell more bonds to finance the extraordinary deficits. The rate increases will continue in order to sell the overabundant US bonds. In a few words, George Bush's debt is causing your mortgage rates to increase, and they will continue to increase until the US assumes fiscal responsibility. Click here for details on this trend.

Postscript: If the EU adopts the practice of allowing large budget deficits, the consequence places a strain on the world bond market, since that market is already flooded with US bonds to the tune of some $9 trillion. Those who are allowing budget deficits also own some of the US debt. It's not a good situation, heralding a world economic collapse. That Greenspan has not reigned in the Bush administration on the US debt is a travesty.

Rising interest rates began with a Federal Reserve declaration of the "fear of inflation":
WASHINGTON, March 22 – The Federal Reserve raised new worries about inflation on Tuesday, setting off alarms in the stock and bond markets that the central bank might drive up interest rates faster than investors had been expecting. The Fed nudged up short-term interest rates for the seventh time in the last year, raising the federal funds rate on overnight loans between banks to 2.75 percent from 2.5 percent. It restated its intention to keep raising them at a "measured" pace in the months ahead.

But in a departure from previous declarations, the central bank said there were rising inflationary pressures beyond those tied directly to the recent jumps in oil prices.

Mel Copeland

Historical trend on the New Orleans debacle


09.11.09 When a nation lacks a competent leader it invites disaster – the legacy of Bush
08.13.05 "Using force the George W. Bush way – Bush's crusade"
07.27.05 New security system for Temple Mount: Why the Dome of the Rock is threatened
03.24.05 Temple Mount controversy
02.19.05 'Dog-Deer' clan seen as common Chinese ancestor – relates to European Paleolithic Lion-Deer
02.15.05 Bush & Rice affects upon Iran's liaisons: it's all about oil and gas
12.23.04 US is losing war of ideas
12.21.04 United States attacking itself from behind


(2) The name, Allah, in Arabic is an expression of surprise. It is not unusual for the God of the Bible to be known by many names. Jewish Midrash quotes passages in the Old Testament (Torah) that cite as many as seventy names of God (and more). But they can all be reduced down to one name.
(5) The Law of the Locrians: "In the legislation of the Locrians, the proposer of a new law, with a halter round his neck, to be instantly tightened if the public assembly did not, on hearing his reasons, then and there adopt his proposition."
[Mill, On Liberty, 2.475].

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